Many gathered at the 1220 Café Warehouse to watch the premier of “Returning the Favor,” hosted by Mike Rowe of the nationally syndicated television show "Dirty Jobs.” Rowe and his crew made a surprise visit to the Tallassee area for the new Facebook project in June.
Rowe was in Tallassee to film a new segment that spotlights Operation Combat Bikesaver
(OCB). The newly formed organization aims to help veterans deal issues they may face after returning from combat and is led by Rob Dinsmore and his wife Stephanie.
“We are here to celebrate Tallassee and to celebrate the extension of Operation Combat Biker,” Dinsmore said.
The organization began in Crown Pointe, Indiana, in 2015 and the Tallassee chapter is the first expansion of the program.
“We found out on Facebook about ‘Returning the Favor,’” Dinsmore said. “Mike Rowe and his crew came and did a show on us because we are the first expansion of the program. Their work on the backend help with our existence on the frontend.”
While in Tallassee, Rowe met OCB’s Dr. Gregory Dubay.
"It was a surprise," Dubay said. "They thought the film crew was there to shoot a Fourth of July expo when Mike Rowe surprised them."
Dubay said Rowe began the day at Operation Combat Bike Saver on the Cherokee Trail. Rowe and his crew then made their way over to Brantley Signs in Kent and later returned to surprise members of the organization.
"He spent all day with us," Dubay said. "It was really something special."
The celebrity appearance was a surprise to almost everyone involved. Rowe and the crew also made a visit to retired veteran Ronald Brantley’s Poverty Plantation in Kent.
"They made us sign an affidavit that they would not tell anyone about it until after the filming of the show," Brantley said. "They used our land and military vehicles for a segment."
While in town, Rowe also gave the organization an abundance of tools, a $10,000 check and an Operation Combat Bikesaver van.